Rolling Out

Up, close and personal with ‘The Best Man Holiday’s’ Monica Calhoun

monica calhoun

Monica Calhoun played an amazing role in The Best Man Holiday as Mia Sullivan, Lance Sullivan’s (Morris Chesnut) wife. Born in Philadelphia, Calhoun started her acting career in 1985 and with over 18 movies and 28 television roles under her belt, she’s had a very commendable career. Read on for more. joi pearson

How did you feel when Malcolm Lee presented the sequel to you?
I was all in; when and where do you need me to show up! I was very busy in my life but I was able to balance everything and everything worked out. All that I was going through I was able to use that for what Mia Morgan-Sullivan was going through in the film.

You played a great role in the film, what were your thoughts when you read the script and you saw how it ended?

It was a challenge, I was trying to figure out how to bring the preparation of life, new life and reuniting with friends, to mend fences and the transformation with the material that is given and I feel pretty good and I’m super critical about what I do anyway so I’ve learned to just be quiet and allow other people to express their thoughts and feelings, but I welcomed the challenge to work that out, what Mia’s journey was.

When you saw the final product what were your thoughts on your role and how well you did?
Ummm, well again I’m super critical but the first time I watched it I was like OK. During the second private screening it was with a general audience, I cried in the moments that were natural but I nitpicked certain things but that’s just me. Overall, Malcolm did a wonderful job at the reunification of friendship and inventing healing and forgiveness.

After the movie, did you find yourself reaching out to family and friends and mending any relationships that may have gone awry?
O, wow, yeah, do you remember the MySpace explosion? We were connecting with this friend, that friend, your friend, my friend so we were connecting but not in the physical sense of connecting so that part was left out of the equation. After the film I started to structure something different with family and friends some of whom had issues with cancer, who had lost some loved ones, and so I found a way to connect with them on a daily basis. I’ve even connected with new family members who I’ve never met and I have started to get to know them. I might “poke” someone on my Facebook page to ask “what’s going on over there” or present photographs of my life with my family members so that they can take away the illusion of what and who some people think that I am.

How do you find a way to balance everything?
Day by day, minute by minute and step by step, I find a way. Balance in life is truly a juggling hat; I rely on my calendar now, to-do lists, making plans in advance. I recall when I was younger everything was day by day or month by month, now at the end of the year around December I look at the full year ahead of me and figure out a way to schedule my life. Baby steps with everything, though.

Advice to up-and-coming actors and actresses?

The best advice I would give to them in front of the camera or behind the camera is to live life, to live your best life and be business savvy. I say to live life because you never know what kind of character you are going to be asked to play, or what script you will be handed, or if you are a photographer which photo you will need to capture but the application of your life experiences to your art brings the authenticity. Though the experience may not  truly, completely and solely be your own the ability to live life, enjoy it, embrace the struggle, the tears, the laughter maybe even being bullied you need to be able to remember those feelings to breath life and bring that mood into that character to an audience who says, “Yay we love it or I’ll catch that on DVD,” which The Best Man Holiday is on DVD now, insert laugh.

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